PSU news by
Penn State's student blog

Topics

About

Community Remembers Thelma ‘Mom’ Price

(Editors note: This may be old news to you by now — Price’s memorial service was held on Saturday — but her contributions to Penn State and State College cannot be understated and will not be forgotten. We apologize for our tardiness.)

A former Penn State vice president known for her tireless community and civil rights efforts has died at the age of 88.

Thelma “Mom” Price, born in Detroit, Mich. on June 11, 1925, died Jan. 8. A memorial was held at the State College Assembly of God Church on Saturday, Jan. 18.

Price was a political activist who worked on a number of Civil Rights initiatives. In 1977, she was elected the first charter president of the State College NAACP, and served in the role for several terms.

Price joined the Penn State staff in 1964 as the assistant dean for Student Services at New Kensington. In 1971, she moved to University Park as the acting director of the Equal Opportunity Program and in1972, she was promoted to assistant vice president for Student Affairs. She was the first African American woman to hold the position.

Terrell Jones, vice provost at Penn State for educational equity, says many staff members at Penn State are grateful for the work done by Price.

“Mrs. Price will be remembered for her strong advocacy for minority student concerns. To most of her students she was warmly known as ‘Mom,'” says Jones. “Many us who presently work at the university owe a great deal of gratitude to Mrs. Price for her tireless energy, vision and her courage to always speak truth to power.”

Loved ones say her efforts included finding needy students funds for books, food, housing, and clothes. She also found funding for student programming, such as the Black Arts Festival. She often used her professional connections to help students obtain internships and full-time employment. She also mentored staff and faculty members.

“My heart is saddened and thankful; Penn State and the world lost a great one,” wrote local muralist Michael Pilato, who painted Price on his famed Heister Street “Inspiration” mural. “In a lifetime, it is rare that one can find themselves lucky to meet such a human who not only inspires but also fills one’s heart with love at the mere mention of her name. To this day, African American students come to the mural and kiss her image on the wall. She helped so many with her soft heart and powerful activism utilizing her greatest gift — love.”

Following her retirement, Price became active in the local community through the State College Area High School, Stand for Children, Housing Transitions Inc., and Mom’s Kitchen, which provided free hot meals to those in need.

She sat various boards including, CentrePeace, Inc. and the Pennsylvania Human Relations Board. She was also a member of State College Kiwanis where she served on the board and as vice-president. She was a member of the University Baptist and Brethren Church and the Unity Church of Jesus Christ in State College.

Your ad blocker is on.

Please choose an option below.

Sign up for our e-mail newsletter:
OR
Support quality journalism:
Purchase a Subscription!

About the Author

StateCollege.com

Posts from our partner website StateCollege.com.

Comments

Other posts by StateCollege.com

Herwig’s Austrian Bistro Sets Closing Date

Owner Bernd Brandstatter announced in March that restaurant would be closing between June and August, but the final day of business has been moved up.

Former Penn State Football Player Denies Burglary, Assault Accusations

Spats Cafe Collaboration With Allen Street Grill Set For Grand Opening

Join Onward State: Spring 2019 Application

Want to be a part of the nation’s premier student-run media outlet? Want to have your words read or your pictures seen by hundreds of thousands of readers and social media followers? More importantly –do ya like having fun? Believe it or not, it’s that time again. Onward State is hiring for the spring semester and we’d […]

Your Guide To Finding Last-Minute Graduation Housing

If you and your family are entering your last spring semester with a lot less coordination, there are some still some limited but available options for graduation day accommodations.

Send this to a friend